Have you ever had one of those days where it seemed like EVERYTHING went wrong, no matter what your best intentions were? THAT was my day at church today...
I bought Kamden an origami book at DI yesterday, HOPING that it would be something wonderful to keep him quiet, but listening, in Sacrament Meeting. WRONG! And my best efforts to remind him to be good and to put it away during the Sacrament were not helpful.
As the Sacrament was passed, Holden, who was sitting by me, whispered in my ear that "having a little extra breakfast at church was AWESOME!" NOT what this momma, that tries hard to teach her kids what the Sacrament is about and why we go to church wanted to hear. It gets better. I had a wiggley Paxton on my lap... As I tried to micromanage my children's behavior, Paxton wiggled, and the water came... I carefully held the Sacrament tray from the bottom because it was my best option. Holden attempted to keep his cute little Sacrament cup just as Paxton wiggled and Holden resisted my urges to put it in the tray. Have you ever witnessed someone DROPPING the Sacrament tray? Well, I guess it more or less slid against the back of the bench in front of us moreso than dropped. In all my nearly 33 years of life, I have never witnessed it before today. I don't know if I thought it was possible! Let me promise you, it is. Do you know what happens AFTER someone drops the Sacrament tray??? Me neither. I have no earthly idea, because I didn't stay in Sacrament meeting right then. All I know is that after Holden and I returned 5 or so minutes later, things seemed fairly normal.
What do you do in those moments??? I'll tell you what I wanted to do! I wanted to go home and cry! I wanted to leave and not come back! But that is not what church is about and that is not what I am about. Holden and I went and talked quickly about how important the Sacrament is and about how it is THE REASON we come to church. We shared tears and hugs and a prayer, took a quick breath, and went back into Sacrament meeting. It was Fast and Testimony meeting and I prayed, very hard, for SOME way to feel the Spirit enough to be able to move Onward and say what Heavenly Father would have me say about such a situation and about what was in my heart. And that's just what happened. Part of what I said in my testimony was very similar to what I said to Holden. The Sacrament is the most important part. I had not behaved any better during the Sacrament than my children had, all because I was so intent on helping them to behave. And then I sat down. Our Stake President, who happened to be attending the meeting, bore his testimony next and included some encouraging words about our church being for the children as well. Thank you President Hall!
Kamden still was Kamden and Holden still was Holden and Kenzi still was Kenzi and Paxton still was Paxton, and to clarify, NONE of them behaved amazingly well during the remainder of Sacrament, sat up and listened, or helped me feel the Spirit. But Boston listened intently, felt the Spirit strongly, and bore her testimony as well. She gives me hope that ONE DAY my other children will be able to choose the right and act appropriately at church. But for now, they don't seem very capable and if I fuss too much about it, I won't get much out of church or feel the Spirit either.
Kamden had a melt down over crayons or something as church ended. I did my best to ignore it, to stand him on his feet, and to send him to primary where I joined him after a few deep breaths. I am his primary teacher, and those deep breaths are very very necessary sometimes.
I found him, already sitting, singing, and behaving WONDERFULLY! Oh, praise the LORD! Kolton, a friend of his at church, had made him a card and brought him a little gift and that made ALL the difference. The two boys had a little tiff between them last week and this was Kolton's effort to make ammends. Thank you Lord, and thank you Kolton!
Aside from that, the posters and sign-ups I went out of my way to make last night had the wrong date on them. I had actually misunderstood what the correct date was. Guess what. Blue sharpie didn't make them pretty, but oh well.
I guess we hold our heads high and move ONWARD! Ever ONWARD! As we glory in HIS name! I continue to pray that one day my children will be able to choose to come to church to listen, grow, and contribute. But for now, I'm going to worry less about what they get out of it and more about what I do.